Archive for the News Category

Yoshihiko Suzuki

Posted in News, Tribute with tags , on October 8, 2016 by Tito

Today, I heard the sad news that one of Hailstone’s founding members, Yoshihiko Suzuki, had passed away of cancer last month in Nishinomiya, aged 90. He graduated in 1951 from Tokyo Univ. as a mechanical engineer, later working for Sakae Kogyo KK. Because of his excellent English, he was often posted abroad. The trilingual haiku here is reproduced from his book, Signpost (pub. 1999). In it, we find Yoshihiko out in Thailand, from where he sent us many wonderful poems. The haiga of a Thai elephant is by his daughter, Ritsuko, whom, together with his wife Michiko, he leaves behind. There are grandsons, too (viz. another fine haiku, for which there is an extant kuhi (poem stone) in Hikami-cho in eastern Hyogo (btm. lt.). Our thoughts are with them all. [Click on any pic to see more detail.]Why? Why not? / Little grandson asking endlessly – / Spring evening

Summer shower – / Encountering a beauty, / Saying, “After you!”

Waiting in a long line / To cradle for a minute / The tiny koala …………. (Sydney, pub. The Meridian, 1998)

Floodwaters besieging / An old temple – / It grows dark …………. (Thailand, pub. Enhaiklopedia, 2005)

RIP

English Journal interview

Posted in Journal, News with tags on July 11, 2016 by Tito

In the current (August 2016) issue EJ cover_201608of Japan’s oldest English language educational journal, the “English Journal”, you may be surprised to find, alongside Barrack Obama’s Hiroshima speech and interviews with Lady Gaga and Paul Krugman, one with SHG (Tito) entitled “俳句に魅せられたイギリス人” (A Briton Spellbound by Haiku). EJ mokuji_201608In it, he talks about Buson, Basho, Hailstone Haiku Circle and the British Haiku Society. The magazine contains an audio CD so that you can listen to the original English words as you read them. A Japanese translation of the interview is also printed. Nobuyuki Yuasa wrote the introduction to the Tito interview. ¥1,512 from your nearest bookshop!

…… A Koya bee ……………………… 高野山
…… on a Koya thistle …………….. 蜂いる路の
…… on a Koya road ……………….. 薊かな

(haiku from the article by Tito; Jap. trans. by Hisashi Miyazaki)

Genjuan Haibun Contest 2016 Results

Posted in Haibun, News with tags , , on April 14, 2016 by Tito

Grand Prix:
A Small Act – Diana Webb (UK)

An (Cottage) Prizes:
What’s in a Name? – Ignatius Fay (Canada)
The Great South Gate – Matthew Caretti (USA)
Arm in Arm with Iza – Maria Tirenescu (Romania)

Honourable Mentions:
Love Story  – Anita Curran Guenin (USA)
Majesty – Geethanjali Rajan (India)
A Spectacle – Branko Manojlovic (Japan)
One Grain of Sand – Mel Goldberg (Mexico)
Geronimo – Terri L. French (USA)

Judges:
Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill (Tito), Hisashi Miyazaki

.  This year we had 127 entries from 16 different countries, our best ever response. The judges wish to thank all those who took the trouble to send something in to the Contest Office and they offer their hearty congratulations to the authors of the above decorated works.
. From a short-list of 14 works, it proved extremely difficult this year to decide on the winners. In the end, Diana Webb’s A Small Act appeared to be closest to exemplary. It is a very fine, open-ended work with good haikai taste.
.  We were bold with our AP selection, for one contained such beautiful haiku imagery, we overlooked the English errors, telling ourselves that they lent charm (a sort of ‘special encouragement prize’, if you like); and another had the ‘haiku’ dovetailed into the prose as isolated phrases, resulting in a captivating rhythmical momentum, although in isolation perhaps many of them would not be construed as bona fide haiku! We felt that we should choose pieces that had some charm and flair. All of the HMs were considered for prizes, but fell because of some unfortunate transgression in the eyes of at least two judges. It was a long session this year!
.  Now that we have been told the identities and countries of residence of the awardees, it is clear that the results well represent the geographical spread of entries, and we are pleasantly surprised by this. The last five short-listed (but un-awarded) works also included, it turns out, entries from Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, though none from South Africa: the Southern Hemisphere did not fare so well this year.
.  A Japanese language haibun contest is to be held this autumn by Nenten’s ‘Sendan’ group and the three judges have been invited to turn their minds to those pieces, too! The winning piece in that contest last year was translated and posted to this site in November https://hailhaiku.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/when-tuna-die/.  It is interesting to see how it compares to the entries in our own international competition. Certainly it has humour. We hope to translate and publish here this year’s Sendan winning piece, too. The top four Genjuan 2016 works will be posted later this month as a special page on the Icebox for all to enjoy.
.  Guidelines and deadline for the 2017 Genjuan Contest have now been posted on a separate page (find the page link at top right). Next year we will welcome one further judge, American haiku poet, novelist, contributor to Icebox and member of the Hailstone Haiku Circle, Ellis Avery, now based in New York. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University, and her writer’s acumen and consciousness of haiku as a vehicle for story-telling will no doubt help us to sort the sheep from the goats next year as well as augmenting the comments we will be offering each of the awardees.

Journeys 2015

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on October 29, 2015 by Tito

We seldom advertise others’ books on this site, but, given that two Hailstones (NY and SHG) and one recent visitor and Genjuan Haibun Grand Prix-winner (MC) are featured, we thought we would make an exception for ‘Journeys 2015’, which contains no less than 145 haibun, some published for the first time. Journeys 2015If we look down the list of contributors’ names, we must conclude that this is sure to be an excellent collection of contemporary world haibun and fortifies the mission to make haibun a genre of world literature, one of the twin objectives of the Genjuan Haibun Contest (the other being to re-introduce the genre to its mother nation, Japan).

Tirelessly edited by Angelee Deodhar in Chandigarh, India. Hopefully, the collection will gain a large Indian readership, not to mention many others around the world. For a list of contributors please go here: http://contemporaryhaibunonline.com/pages113/A_News_Journeys2015.html and for ordering details, here: http://www.amazon.com/Journeys-2015-Anthology-International-Haibun/dp/1515359875

212 new Buson haiku discovered!

Posted in Book, Japanese Classic, News with tags , on October 18, 2015 by Tito

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Tenri Library (near Nara) announced on 14 Oct. that they had discovered two new books of original haiku by Yosa Buson: one volume of Spring & Summer poems, the other of Autumn & Winter ones. Altogether, they contain just over 1,900 haiku, of which 212 are previously unknown! The name of the missing collection is Yahantei Buson Kushu. ‘Yahantei’ (Midnight Teahouse) was an alias inherited from his teacher, Hajin, which, later in his life, he used alongside his better-known one of ‘Buson’ (Turnip Village). Above is the first page of the Spring volume, bearing critical marks said to have been made by the poet himself. The book was once owned by his Kyoto disciple, Hyakuchi. They will go on show at the Library, along with many other Buson-related works, until Nov. 8. Hailstone is planning a trip there on Oct. 25 (Sun.). Free entry. Contact SHG (Tito) for details, or leave a message in the reply/comments box below.

To put the find into some sort of context, Stephen was interviewed over the phone by BBC Radio 4 on 16th and you can hear the resultant 3-4 min. passage in the arts programme, ‘Front Line’, (available on the i-player: wait until it has loaded, then fast forward to 17:48′) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06gxysv.

One of the new haiku is:

傘も化て目のある月夜哉
karakasa mo bakete me no aru tsukiyo kana

The torn paper umbrella
has just become a ghoul …
with moonlit eyes!

(trans. SHG)

Thames Way : Ulster Way (brown to blue)

Posted in Book, News, Walking with tags , , on September 21, 2015 by Tito
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Former Kyoto-based Hailstone, Diarmuid Fitzgerald, launches his first haiku and tanka collection the Irish Writers’ Centre, Parnell Square in Dublin from 7pm on 22 Oct. Anyone in the area is welcome to attend, but should contact Diarmuid first. The collection is based on a long-distance walk he made along the Thames Way in Southern England. Published by Alba (Kim Richardson).
…………………………. fields of barley
…………………………. shift of hue
…………………………. from yellow
…………………………. to brown
…………………………. clouds pass
………………………………… DF, on the …
Thames Way
.
Icebox contributor, David McCullough, who has just begun a year’s sabbatical in his native Belfast, guided Tito recently along a stretch of the Ulster Way long-distance footpath in Antrim.
brown eyes of heifers
gazing at the ocean –
two jet trails
…….. DMcC, on the Ulster WayKC4F0045
.
……….. On an offshore islet
……….. a man reclining
……….. in a brown coat –
……….. the seal!
………………. Tito, ditto
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Genjuan Decorated Works 2012-14: Apology and Praise

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on May 17, 2015 by Tito

The Office of the Genjuan Haibun Contest hopes that by now all those who took part in the Genjuan Haibun Contest in any or all of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 will have received their free copy of the recently published compilation of decorated pieces (see March 30 posting below for description and a photo of the cover). We trust you will enjoy reading it. If you still haven’t received it by the end of May, please contact our officer, Eiko Mori (her details are given on the Genjuan Guidelines page – click link at top right). If you notice any errors of transcription, please notify us.

One, for which we sincerely apologize, has recently been discovered on page 76 in John Kinory’s piece, Prime Meridian. Near the end, “He smile” should be “Her smile” and, in the same sentence, “had brought me” should have been “had bought me”.

Fortunately, we have already received some very encouraging feedback from prominent haibun writers:

“With its 120 pages, judges’ comments and ‘classical Japanese haibun’ this is a considerable work, and a significant contribution to contemporary haibun literature, meriting congratulations to all involved. Incidentally, it’s also a crisp and attractive book production.” (Ken Jones)

“Congratulations on another successful haibun contest. it has been instrumental in keeping haibun an active and vibrant genre. thanks for the good work.” (Jim Kacian)

“… a masterpiece of inspiration and production, not to overlook generosity and ‘haiku spirit’. I was completely taken by surprise and totally overwhelmed to receive it. Thank you so much.” (David Cobb)

Should you wish to order your own copy, details are given on our Publications page (click link at top right).

The four prize-winning pieces in the 2015 Contest are now up on our Genjuan ’15 Winning Haibun page (link at top right).

The Guidelines for the 2016 Contest are now up on our Genjuan Guidelines page (via another link at top right).